Parents' Guide to

Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas

By Stephanie Morgan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Campy, faith-filled holiday special has that Dolly sparkle.

TV NBC Variety Show 2022
Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Keep it pure

There were many things I liked, Christmas songs ect, however I didn’t like suggestive content. Not great role model material.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Not shying away from everything it means to be the one and only Dolly Parton, her latest holiday special will delight fans but may be too much for the uninitiated. Unsurprisingly, Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas is a quintessential variety special. Although the story is fictional, Dolly and her musician friends (Miley Cyrus, Willy Nelson, and more) play themselves while other familiar faces like Tom Everett Scott and Ana Gasteyer play poorly written Hollywood executives. With glittery costumes and simple but colorful set designs, many of the numbers feel like they're being performed straight from the stage of The Grand 'Ol Opry. But the rest of the scenes, set in Dollywood, feel more like a commercial for Parton's real-life theme park.

In true Dolly fashion, the hour and a half special promotes a bevy of positive messages including accepting yourselves and others, it being better to give than to receive, and to always have hope. Dolly's Imagination Library, which has donated nearly two hundred million books to children around the world, also gets some much deserved recognition. Many viewers will appreciate Dolly's uniquely irreverent and accepting brand of Christianity. (She closes the show by saying, "I hope that I haven't crammed God or Jesus down anybody's throat… I guess nobody knows for certain if there is a heaven. But if there is, I just hope the hell I go.") Despite this self-awareness, though, the show still takes a few notable missteps. One number that seems woefully out of place for a holiday special is a song in which Dolly repeatedly tells Satan to go back to hell. The choice to have the only person of color also be the character that needs to see the error in her ways -- and the condescending overtures of her white male counterpart -- is also hard to swallow. As is a song sung by Dolly that preaches accepting family no matter what, but also seems to compare being gay to being an addict or a "stray." All this to say, those who know what to expect from Ms. Parton will come away from this special satisfied, but others may be left scratching their heads.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate